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(Mashable)   FTC reveals how MoviePass successfully disrupted the MoviePass industry   (mashable.com) divider line
    More: Facepalm, Federal Trade Commission, FTC press release, MoviePass's then CEO Mitchell Lowe, personal information, parent company, movie ticket subscription service, Federal Trade Commission complaint, email addresses  
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1358 clicks; posted to Business » and Entertainment » on 08 Jun 2021 at 5:35 PM (12 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



36 Comments     (+0 »)
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2021-06-08 4:33:42 PM  
It really does seem like their strategy was "If we can only get rid of these people who want to see movies with our movie-subscription service, we're gold!"

Wouldn't that be like founding Uber with the idea that most people want to stay home anyway?
 
2021-06-08 4:54:31 PM  
MoviePass and its parent company agreed to settle the FTC's allegations, which comes with prohibitions on misrepresenting future businesses and the implementation of better data security.

Fark that. This was a fraud from top-to-bottom. Someone needs criminal charges.
 
2021-06-08 5:41:19 PM  
Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Only when you own a gym does it make sense.
 
2021-06-08 5:46:04 PM  

padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Only when you own a gym does it make sense.


Wasn't that their exact business model though? People sign up for gym memberships in the hope it will guilt them into going to a gym but no one ever shows up so there's cash to be made and also usually those memberships are actually sold by the people who run the gym.

But people like going to movies and no one asked AMC permission to sell subscriptions to their moving picture castle, back when AMC and movie theaters were a thing. Hell, MoviePass might work in 2021.
 
2021-06-08 6:12:24 PM  
MoviePass CEO: PLEASE DON'T CANCEL
Youtube YBO_7UezpbY


Obligatorally hilarious.
 
2021-06-08 6:16:22 PM  
If they lose money on every subscriber, they needed more subscribers.
 
2021-06-08 6:32:51 PM  
They would have done great last year since no one went out to see anything.
 
2021-06-08 6:43:58 PM  

scottydoesntknow: MoviePass and its parent company agreed to settle the FTC's allegations, which comes with prohibitions on misrepresenting future businesses and the implementation of better data security.

Fark that. This was a fraud from top-to-bottom. Someone needs criminal charges.


No fine and no promises to not do it in future.
 
2021-06-08 6:48:04 PM  

Confabulat: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Only when you own a gym does it make sense.

Wasn't that their exact business model though? People sign up for gym memberships in the hope it will guilt them into going to a gym but no one ever shows up so there's cash to be made and also usually those memberships are actually sold by the people who run the gym.

But people like going to movies and no one asked AMC permission to sell subscriptions to their moving picture castle, back when AMC and movie theaters were a thing. Hell, MoviePass might work in 2021.


Industry rumor was also that MoviePass was trying to weasel into getting a share of concessions from the theaters under the guise of "we're driving traffic to your shiatty theater, so gimme!" without actually working a deal out with the theater chains before hand.
The main problem is that going to the movies is entertainment and a great escape, and generally something people look forward to doing on the weekend (in non COVID times). Going to the gym is just another kind of work which people like to find excuses to avoid (unless you're one of those gym rat weirdos).
 
2021-06-08 6:51:29 PM  

padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.


Isn't that exactly how auto and health insurance work? They have entire departments devoted to figuring out how not to pay you money.
 
2021-06-08 6:54:10 PM  
I do remember having problems with the ticket verification, and with properly checking in. It was maddening. At least, later on--before that, it was glorious. Maybe it was unsustainable, but I saw so many films, especially ones I would never have otherwise paid for.

I don't think movie theaters get that the more you charge for a ticket, the more apprehensive I am to take the risk on a movie I'm not sure I'll like. But I'm almost certainly not your average moviegoer.
 
2021-06-08 7:05:20 PM  

austerity101: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Isn't that exactly how auto and health insurance work? They have entire departments devoted to figuring out how not to pay you money.


People have an incentive to not need health and auto insurance (more the latter). No ones super thrilled about having to utilize them, though they're undoubtedly happy they have it when it occurs.

This is contrary to MoviePass, which you would buy specifically to utilize the subscription regularly.
 
2021-06-08 7:05:41 PM  

austerity101: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Isn't that exactly how auto and health insurance work? They have entire departments devoted to figuring out how not to pay you money.


Except you are legally required to have car insurance.  You have to pay them, they'll do anything to avoid paying you.
 
2021-06-08 7:06:45 PM  
The best thing about MoviePass is it pushed these chains to start their own subscriptions, which seem to work well for them and subscribers if you use it. I end up seeing each movie for about $5 now which, while not as cheap as $10 for unlimited, is certainly not bad.
 
2021-06-08 7:14:32 PM  

MHudson: austerity101: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Isn't that exactly how auto and health insurance work? They have entire departments devoted to figuring out how not to pay you money.

People have an incentive to not need health and auto insurance (more the latter). No ones super thrilled about having to utilize them, though they're undoubtedly happy they have it when it occurs.

This is contrary to MoviePass, which you would buy specifically to utilize the subscription regularly.


That doesn't change the fact that the business models for all three are "Collect money from people and do everything you can not to help them."
 
2021-06-08 7:14:52 PM  

Kraftwerk Orange: austerity101: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Isn't that exactly how auto and health insurance work? They have entire departments devoted to figuring out how not to pay you money.

Except you are legally required to have car insurance.  You have to pay them, they'll do anything to avoid paying you.


Again, that's irrelevant. They're the same business model.
 
2021-06-08 7:19:00 PM  
which comes with prohibitions on misrepresenting future businesses


So part of their "punishment" is that they can't lie about their next business. And we mean it this time!
 
2021-06-08 7:23:23 PM  

Confabulat: It really does seem like their strategy was "If we can only get rid of these people who want to see movies with our movie-subscription service, we're gold!"

Wouldn't that be like founding Uber with the idea that most people want to stay home anyway?


It is a great business model for gyms.  So there's that.
 
2021-06-08 7:28:03 PM  

austerity101: Kraftwerk Orange: austerity101: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Isn't that exactly how auto and health insurance work? They have entire departments devoted to figuring out how not to pay you money.

Except you are legally required to have car insurance.  You have to pay them, they'll do anything to avoid paying you.

Again, that's irrelevant. They're the same business model.


If your repeat that another 7-8 times, it will still be wrong.
 
2021-06-08 8:04:40 PM  
I was just thinking about MoviePass today for some reason. I still have my credit card.
 
2021-06-08 8:20:03 PM  
I recall reading all the articles about them back then. They honestly believed that most customers using the service were only going to see 6-7 movies per year because surveys showed that's how many movies the average person sees, and that these people seeing a movie every day were just outliers. The most pants on head stupid thing I've ever read.
 
2021-06-08 8:45:50 PM  
My then girl was using the service 3 to 5  times a week. She loved it. She never ran into these issues, however we bailed pretty early when I 1st heard trouble brewing.

If something is to good to be true it often is.
 
2021-06-08 8:49:13 PM  

padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Only when you own a gym does it make sense.


That's the reality.  Their hope was that a major theater chain would make a bargain with them but none took the bait.
 
2021-06-08 9:14:35 PM  

LowbrowDeluxe: [YouTube video: MoviePass CEO: PLEASE DON'T CANCEL]

Obligatorally hilarious.


That was hilarious. The circles around his eyes were epic.
 
2021-06-08 9:40:08 PM  

Space Station Wagon: My then girl was using the service 3 to 5  times a week. She loved it. She never ran into these issues, however we bailed pretty early when I 1st heard trouble brewing.

If something is to good to be true it often is.


A buddy of mine was using it until they added a bunch of restrictions like you can only use it Monday through Thursday and not for evening movies.
 
2021-06-08 9:59:16 PM  

Catlenfell: Space Station Wagon: My then girl was using the service 3 to 5  times a week. She loved it. She never ran into these issues, however we bailed pretty early when I 1st heard trouble brewing.

If something is to good to be true it often is.

A buddy of mine was using it until they added a bunch of restrictions like you can only use it Monday through Thursday and not for evening movies.


Yeah, I basically got my money's worth (and more) until they started pulling that shiat. It was just a matter of time before it all collapsed at that point.

Then I started hearing about people having difficulty cancelling their memberships and getting auto-renewed. Fortunately they didn't have any of my payment info on file since I had bought my membership through paypal and paypal at some point stopped processing payments for them.
 
2021-06-08 10:05:12 PM  

Confabulat: It really does seem like their strategy was "If we can only get rid of these people who want to see movies with our movie-subscription service, we're gold!"

Wouldn't that be like founding Uber with the idea that most people want to stay home anyway?


I think I've seen that movie.

Fark user imageView Full Size


The remake was pretty good too.
 
2021-06-08 10:14:58 PM  
A other here who caught the sweet spot. I got a monthly membership and cancelled when the going got rough.a fantastic 4 months though. I was an abuser, theater hopping to see I max flicks a week after opening when the crowds thinned. Or creating my own double features.
 
2021-06-08 11:09:37 PM  

austerity101: I don't think movie theaters get that the more you charge for a ticket, the more apprehensive I am to take the risk on a movie I'm not sure I'll like. But I'm almost certainly not your average moviegoer.


that's my issue with the $30 premium access VoD releases. Yes I know it's a value compared to date night + the movies and a babysitter. but $30 to maybe be watching an underwhelming movie on my couch is just always going to sting.
 
2021-06-08 11:11:39 PM  

Night Night Cream Puff: Confabulat: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Only when you own a gym does it make sense.

Wasn't that their exact business model though? People sign up for gym memberships in the hope it will guilt them into going to a gym but no one ever shows up so there's cash to be made and also usually those memberships are actually sold by the people who run the gym.

But people like going to movies and no one asked AMC permission to sell subscriptions to their moving picture castle, back when AMC and movie theaters were a thing. Hell, MoviePass might work in 2021.

Industry rumor was also that MoviePass was trying to weasel into getting a share of concessions from the theaters under the guise of "we're driving traffic to your shiatty theater, so gimme!" without actually working a deal out with the theater chains before hand.
The main problem is that going to the movies is entertainment and a great escape, and generally something people look forward to doing on the weekend (in non COVID times). Going to the gym is just another kind of work which people like to find excuses to avoid (unless you're one of those gym rat weirdos).


It wasn't exactly an industry rumor or secret. MoviePass's plan from the beginning was to burn cash to build a massive subscriber base and then try to leverage it against the theaters for revenue and also sell data back to the movie industry to try and make a profit.

The problem is that is a person went to 2 movies a month they were already in the red. You can't charge a $15 subscription price for unlimited of something you are required to pay full price to the theaters at ~$10 a pop...subscribers largely knew this was going to crash and burn from simple math and most took a "get it while you can" attitude and went to as many movies as they could knowing that something had to give in a short period of time.

Then once MoviePass realized they were burning cash faster than piling it up, pouring gasoline on it and lighting it ablaze, they tried to pull back and raise prices/limit what subscribers could access and how many movies a month they could see which obviously pissed subscription owners off. After that subscriptions levels were crushed and they had no choice but to back track if they wanted any shot at obtaining a critical mass and ended up waffling back and forth on pricing and rules until they were so broke movie theaters denied subscription owners tickets because they weren't getting paid. To cap it all off theater chains started their own subscription service which was priced more reasonably from the start and had reasonable restrictions you'd expect and was backed by the theaters so you knew you would always be able to get it.

That was essentially the death nail, they had no option to pressure theaters at that point and the endless money well ran dry. To cap it all off they had no market for their harvested data as the movie industry already had a significant established data gathering system. They might as well have lit cash on fire.

As for penalties for this behavior, you can't squeeze blood from a stone. Any money they have left already has about 2 dozen creditors fighting over it.
 
2021-06-08 11:17:13 PM  

austerity101: Kraftwerk Orange: austerity101: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Isn't that exactly how auto and health insurance work? They have entire departments devoted to figuring out how not to pay you money.

Except you are legally required to have car insurance.  You have to pay them, they'll do anything to avoid paying you.

Again, that's irrelevant. They're the same business model.


Risk Pools, how do they work?

If you can't tell the difference between insurance and gym memberships then you obviously don't understand what a risk pool is.
 
2021-06-09 12:39:34 AM  
To cap it all off they had no market for their harvested data as the movie industry already had a significant established data gathering system. They might as well have lit cash on fire.

Also how much could that data they wanted to sell have possibly been worth?  I don't know how much money they were losing per subscriber, but even if it was $10/mo I find it hard to believe anyone is going to pay that much.  What did they have?  What times/days you went to the movies and what movies you saw along with demographic information?
 
2021-06-09 1:57:10 AM  

austerity101: Kraftwerk Orange: austerity101: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Isn't that exactly how auto and health insurance work? They have entire departments devoted to figuring out how not to pay you money.

Except you are legally required to have car insurance.  You have to pay them, they'll do anything to avoid paying you.

Again, that's irrelevant. They're the same business model.


No it's not, at all.

You buy insurance in the hope you won't use it. Insurance is risk mitigation.
You buy MoviePass specifically because you want to use it.
How can you say risk mitigation and entertainment are the same thing? Does not make sense.
 
2021-06-09 7:34:09 AM  

padraig: austerity101: Kraftwerk Orange: austerity101: padraig: Their whole business plan relied on people not using their service. It was nuts.

Isn't that exactly how auto and health insurance work? They have entire departments devoted to figuring out how not to pay you money.

Except you are legally required to have car insurance.  You have to pay them, they'll do anything to avoid paying you.

Again, that's irrelevant. They're the same business model.

No it's not, at all.

You buy insurance in the hope you won't use it. Insurance is risk mitigation.
You buy MoviePass specifically because you want to use it.
How can you say risk mitigation and entertainment are the same thing? Does not make sense.


Why not both?
americanfootballinternational.comView Full Size
 
2021-06-09 7:47:29 AM  

keldaria: The problem is that is a person went to 2 movies a month they were already in the red. You can't charge a $15 subscription price for unlimited of something you are required to pay full price to the theaters at ~$10 a pop...subscribers largely knew this was going to crash and burn from simple math and most took a "get it while you can" attitude and went to as many movies as they could knowing that something had to give in a short period of time.


When I first heard of it, I assumed that they already had deals on place with the theaters, because who would be stupid enough to offer an unlimited subscription service for something that they were in turn paying full price for?
 
2021-06-09 7:53:22 AM  

padraig: You buy insurance in the hope you won't use it. Insurance is risk mitigation.
You buy MoviePass specifically because you want to use it.
How can you say risk mitigation and entertainment are the same thing? Does not make sense.


MoviePass was like a car insurance company that charged a flat rate regardless of your driving record or what car you had, and then was shocked to find out that adverse selection was a thing.
 
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